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Welcoming An Enlarged Congress.

April 26, 2009

prague-photo-show1

The way Czechs are venting out their frustration against their politicians is surely whimsical and in good humor.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090424/od_afp/czechpoliticsentertainmentartoffbeat_20090424162731

But I can’t help but juxtapose this with the reality that politically-passionate Filipinos are facing a new week set against reports of the House Of Representives looking for more money, and space, to accommodate the newly proclaimed lawmakers.

This after the Sumpreme Courts mandated a proportional increase in the number of seats for “marginalized” sectors of society.

Reversing a previous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that all vacant seats for the party-list system should be filled in keeping with the Constitution which states that sectoral representatives should constitute 20 percent of the House membership.

And so the Commission on Elections on Friday proclaimed 29 additional winning party-list groups, raising the number of sectoral representatives in Congress from 22 to 51.

Nothing wrong, right?

But consider this: each member of the House of Representatives gets P70 million in a Priority Development Assistance Fund, more commonly known as “pork barrel.” Each senator gets P200 million.

Militant groups are now questioning the impending entry of retired general Jovito Palparan as the representative of Bantay, which advocates for the concerns of security guards, former rebels and civilian armed groups, and that of Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, as representative of Ang Kasangga in behalf of small entrepreneurs like balut vendors.

In all we are being told some 2.5-B pesos is needed for the new lawmakers.

Good luck to us.

POSTCRIPT

Among the new party-list congressmen it is surely retired Army General Palparan who has drawn fire very early given his well-known anti communist posture, and his being implicated in the deaths of scored of lefyt-wing activists.

The independent investigative journalism site Vera Files has this account:

http://verafiles.org/index.php/focus/217-palparans-legacy-lives-on-in-mindanao

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